What is it about a shoe that makes it fetishizable? This is a question that, believe it or not, has plagued theorists for decades. Maybe it's a phallic association—penis envy, ladies?—or the historical gendering properties implied—but weren't heels originally worn by men? Perhaps that’s the point... It could be the silhouette-morphing shape—but it really isn’t just one shape—or the added height, over time equaling a heightened status—although, we’ve seen throughout history that stilettos are just as often seen as tools for submission as they are for domination. Shoes can make a person feel more than human—Is it the animal skin? The horse-like sounds a hard heel supplies? It couldn’t be—but is it?—simply the price…?
Whatever the reason may be, the shoe has become an objet d'art (and vice versa!). In a new book by Jane Gershon Weitzman (wife of Stuart), Art & Sole (Harper Design) we follow form and function all the way to fantasy, with a delectable collection of artists' interpretations of Weitzman classics. These are shoes that were once in Stuart Weitzman windows, created especially for displays Mrs. Weitzman herself commissioned.
"The shoes that I have collected to include in Art & Sole represent the best of more than a thousand that have appeared in Stuart Weitzman stores over the years," she writes in the book's introduction. "I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed working with the very special artists who created them." I'm sure we will, although I'm still not sure why!
The book is on sale September 1st, and for the month of September and October 100% of the profits from Art & Sole sales made in Stuart Weitzman stores and online will be donated to ovarian and breast cancer research.
IMAGES COURTESY stuart weitzman